At times, it can be hard to get a few minutes of rest when your newborn is around. I mean, you spend most of your time constantly holding your newborn. Babies often sleep better when held since it makes them feel calmer and more relaxed.
Even so, this can be exhausting for parents. In this article, we look at some of the reasons why babies sleep better when held.
Importance of holding your baby to sleep
Developing a close relationship with your baby is fundamental. When you cuddle your baby, they feel secure. Also, your baby will hear your heartbeat and smell. Hence, they will be able to recognize you as their parent from a very tender age.
Most babies take time to get used to the outside environment, hence why they want to stay close to you at all times. The relationship between a parent and their baby is complex and beautiful. While cuddling, your baby can hear your heartbeat, and your presence is soothing.
Babies can also smell your scent, and when you hold them, it makes them feel safer. Nonetheless, note that when your baby gets used to sleeping in your arms regularly, they might not be able to sleep independently. So, learn to strike a balance between cuddling your baby and laying them down to sleep in their crib.
3 Benefits of holding your baby
One of the main advantages of holding your baby is establishing a strong bond. Having skin-to-skin contact with your baby helps you create a strong relationship with your child. Dads and moms who hold their babies close to their chest make their babies feel more relaxed. Therefore, try as much as possible to hold your baby closely.
It helps in regulating the baby’s body temperature
Holding your baby can also help you control your baby’s temperature, especially after birth. When you hold your baby in your arms, they are likely to stay warm. In turn, this keeps your baby healthy and more immune to diseases. Additionally, holding your baby improves their mental health as it soothes them to sleep.
It encourages breastfeeding
Holding your baby makes feeding times much more manageable. This is because your baby will relax and find it easy to latch. When you hold your baby, they find it easy to trust you and eventually breastfeed without hesitation.
It helps in relieving pain
If your baby is under stress due to physical pain, holding them helps in providing relief. Based on previous statistics, babies who are held by their parents when undergoing an uncomfortable medical procedure cry less than those lying on a swaddle.
Comfortable ways to hold babies while sleeping
More often than not, it can be hard to find a suitable position that your baby actually loves. Remember, babies are different. So, what works for a specific child won’t work for another. Below, we discuss some of the best positions to hold your baby when they are sleeping.
Cradling: One of the best ways to hold your baby is by cradling them. Cradling comes naturally and is actually simple to do. Allow your baby’s head to lie on the upper side of your elbow, on your arm’s crook. Then, wrap the rest of your arm around them. Doing this helps your baby feels safe as they sleep.
On your shoulder: Let your baby’s head and neck lie on your shoulder and wrap your arm around their bottom. This posture allows your baby to listen to your heartbeat and fall asleep faster. Babies really find this position soothing and comfortable.
In a sling: Slings make it easier for you to hold your baby to sleep. When using a sling, you don’t have to use your hands to hold your baby. Thus, you can do other things as you hold your baby to sleep.
Always avoid holding your baby when you are sick or standing. Doing this can cause your baby to fall. Also, if you have twins, hold one baby at a time.
How and when to put your baby in their crib
Even though babies sleep better when held, it is essential to let them sleep in their own crib. Child experts advise introducing your baby to their crib when they get to six months. Note that this transition is not easy. So, your child is likely to throw tantrums.
You can start putting your baby in their crib during naptimes then eventually bedtime. Doing this helps your baby start getting used to sleeping alone. Letting your baby sleep in their crib helps them become independent and allows you to rest.
Once you sense that your baby is sleepy, take them to their bed. Some of the signs you should watch out for in a sleepy baby are red eyes and irritability. At times, it is always advisable to cuddle your baby to sleep. Then when they fall asleep, you can take them to their cradle.
Ensure you use clean bedsheets on your baby’s crib. Also, cover your baby appropriately while they are in the cradle. In case they wake up in the middle of the night, avoid taking them out of the cradle. When you remove them from their crib, they won’t be able to fall asleep alone for the remaining hours of the night.
Use technology for support
When you are introducing your baby to their cradle, consider using a baby monitor. Baby monitors can help you track how your baby is sleeping. Thus, they reduce your anxiety, especially if you are a new mum.
Using white noise in your baby’s room is also an excellent way to make your baby fall asleep much faster. You can operate baby monitors from your smartphone. If you really find it hard to leave your baby in another room, you can move the cradle to your room.
Remember, babies are unable to sleep all through the night without waking up. Newborn babies can sleep for three hours and then go back to sleep. However, when your baby gets to five months, they should be able to sleep for seven hours during the night.
How do I sleep train my baby? 2 methods explained
Sleep training a baby is undoubtedly challenging for most parents. Babies find it uncomfortable and insecure when left alone. Similarly, most parents become anxious when sleep training their babies, and may eventually give up.
If you decide to sleep train your baby, you need to create a safe sleeping space for them. You can do this by swaddling. Swaddling helps your baby feel secure and gives them the same feeling of being held. Subsequently, swaddling helps your baby fall asleep much faster.
Incorporate white noise
White noise can also soothe your baby to sleep. White noise goes well with swaddling. This kind of noise makes your baby feel secure and comfortable. There are several white noise machines you can use for your baby. A good example is the Letsfit white noise machine.
Regardless of the techniques you use to make your baby fall asleep faster, it is essential to note that it takes time for babies to be comfortable independently. As a parent, you need to be patient with your baby.
Consider signing up for a parent support group to keep your mental health in check.
Conclusion –It is obvious that babies sleep better when held because they tend to relax easily. Holding your baby makes them feel safe and secure. In turn, this improves their mental and physical health.